Conclusion: New Agendas

  • Chris Brown


Although some post-Cold War scenarios involve quite high levels of military insecurity, it is clearly the case that, for most prosperous and industrially-advanced capitalist states, the destruction of the Soviet Union has produced much higher levels of physical security than have been characteristic of the modern international system. These states may become the victims of terrorist attacks and other forms of anomic violence, but, in contrast to the years of the Cold War and the nuclear stand-off between the superpowers, the possibility that their actual physical survival may be at stake seems to have receded. This chapter will examine one direct result of this change, the range of new issues and concerns — or, sometimes, old issues and concerns that have previously been neglected — which have emerged on both the theoretical and practical agenda of international relations. This agenda includes, amongst other items, the international politics of the environment, matters of gender and international relations, the politics of transnational social movements, transnational crime, and questions concerning human rights, intervention, refugees and migrant workers. On the face of it these issues would appear to have very little in common other than the fact that they have greater salience now than they had even ten, much less 20, years ago. However, there are three features of the new agenda that do provide a link between these disparate topics, namely new notions of security, non-state agenda-setting, and, most of all, a revived interest in normative matters.


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© Chris Brown 1997

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  • Chris Brown

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